Tag Archives: NASA

Prof. Asif Siddiqi is Featured in The National Geographic.

Professor Asif Siddiqui was featured in an October 7, 2020, National Geographic article, “How the ‘right stuff’ to be an astronaut has changed over the years.”

Prof. Siddiqi is quoted:

“They’re green,” says Fordham University history professor Asif Siddiqi of the first group of cosmonauts. “You essentially have the space program mold and shape them.”

The author Jay Bennett continues, “As the U.S. and U.S.S.R. gained experience flying people in space, they began to attempt more complicated missions, such as docking in orbit and sending astronauts outside their spacecraft. In the astronaut selection process, the two space programs put more emphasis on engineering education, and the Soviet program raised its standards for flight time, making the second group of astronauts older and more experienced than the first, Siddiqui says. Buzz Aldrin, selected in the third group of NASA astronauts in 1963, was the first person to join the corps with a doctoral degree (in astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology).”

Asif Siddiqi

You can follow Prof. Asif Siddiqi on Twitter @historyasif.

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A Fordham Historian Helps Write the Future of Spaceflight

18801-0309305071-covers450When we think about the future of spaceflight, the names that most often come to mind are those of the science fiction authors and film directors: Andrei Tarkowsky, Arthur C. Clarke, Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas, and most recently, Christopher Nolan. We certainly don’t think of historians. After all, historians are concerned with the past, not the future, right?
Well, in 2010, the United States Congress set up a committee to explore the future of the already ostensibly futuristic concept of human spaceflight, they called on the expertise of a historian, specifically Fordham’s own Asif Siddiqi. In the summer of 2014 the committee’s report was published, and we asked Professor Siddiqi to tell us a bit about the process. Read on to learn more about the experience, watch a video featuring about the history of and to see the great snapshots he provided illustrating his time working on the committee.

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Filed under Faculty News, Uncategorized